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Should You Spend Money On A Dating Site?
Are you considering creating a profile on a dating site? I sometimes read forums about online dating, and I noticed someone posted that a particular site worked better than eHarmony. To me, that is quite an audacious promise as I, and many of my friends, have discovered that pretty much all online dating sites will deliver the same results. The only difference between a pay site and a free site is you have to pay to talk to people, and there is no guarantee that you will even jive with the people you speak to once you hand over your hard-earned cash. Twenty years ago there were dating agencies that claimed that for a fee they could help you find true love, but I could not testify to whether these work well because I never used one. Sites such as match.com, eharmony.com, christiansingles.com, and many others are the online equivalents of the dating services many people used to use. Some people still use those today, but online services have taken away a large chunk of business from their storefront counterparts with aggressive advertising campaigns showing pictures of happy couples. Whether you want to pay to meet your online dates or just try free sites is up to you, but I am writing this hub about my experiences to educate others about all the options available before you decide you must "pay for love".
Buyer Warning: Online Dating Can Be A Very Dangerous Thing
I am not trying to sound like your mother and warn you about going outside after dark, but yes I will probably sound like your mother when I say be very careful before venturing into the world of online dating. During the first few dates you always want to meet in public and let a friend know where you are going. I stopped dating people I met online a few months ago because I felt I was being way too risky and I am thankful nothing happened to me, but if always meet in a public place it can be safe and secure.
However, my family was way too concerned about me dating people I met online and they felt I did not have enough details about these persons. Honestly I did not spend every waking minute of my day looking for online dates, but I was beginning to feel the amount of time needed to research whether you wanted to meet an online date was taking away from other more enjoyable activities. Also, I have found the people I meet in person tend to get along better with me, and I tend to get along better with them because I feel I know them better. Of course there are dangers in dating anyone online or offline, but I just want to make sure every one is aware of the online dangers that lerk behind that friendly avatar and screen.
People Lie On "Classy" Websites Such As Eharmony
Many people feel that even though match.com is a dating site that it is filled with those looking for casual flings, but I found the case to be true with Eharmony, ChristianSingles, and a couple of other niche sites that cost money. These days many people meet online via myspace (even people in their fifties and older are on here), Facebook, Yuwie, even on YouTube, that the pay dating sites have become more and more niche in their approach. If you are ever surfing the net you are likely to find a dating site that caters to people who love poodles and blue crackers, which I have not found yet, but I am sure you can find such a site with extensive research.
My experience with Eharmony was very enlightening because I learned that one of the times I did get "accepted" via their online questionnaire that my matches were not even similar to me. Eharmony and many of the other sites claim to match people according to "compatibility dimensions", but you never know what people will lie about when filling out online questionnaires. The one man I talked to who seemed nice felt that I had nothing in common with him, and the other one lied about being married. The married man told me he lied so he could win the trust of women and sleep with them because he knew marriage hungry women were looking for husbands on this site, so it is nice to know that people like that will even abuse our trust on many dating sites. I always used to ask men lots of questions before I would meet them and many thought I was way too questioning, but I would rather be safe than sorry. Also, you should never be embarrassed to ask a man if he is married, has kids, or is dating anyone else because if he feels these questions are too personal early on, then what type of thing will he hide once he is dating someone? The same goes for men too, but I am speaking from my own perspective and I have not met men who have dealt with online dating fiascos, so if you want to add your experience in the comments section please do so.
"Freaky" People Even Hang Out On Christian Dating Services
Some people think Christian dating services are safer and more user-friendly, or at least I used to feel that way. After my experiences with Eharmony and match.com, I decided to try Christian Singles because I felt the people there might better fit for me. One man, I met on there was very gentlemanly but we just did not have much in common, which can happen in real life or online. The second guy seemed very nice at first, but he revealed a very freaky side after we started talking for a while. This gentleman was a successful college graduate, so he seemed like a very nice gentleman to get to know. He wanted to come see me in California during his summer break, so we decided to talk before we met.
However, several weeks went by and he began to reveal to me how contradictory he could be. He told me he had never spoken to one girl online again after she sent him a picture of herself in lingerie, but he himself had pictures celebrities in scantily clad clothing on his Facebook page. Next, he revealed to me that he broke up with his ex-girlfriend because she was overweight and had only stayed with her because she "nursed" him through injuries he sustained while on duty in the air force. Then he had the audacity to ask me about my weight, and I kindly instructed him that most women do not like to share that information. I may have been more inclined to do so if he had not brought up the scenario about breaking up with his ex-girlfriend because of her weight. However, the last thing he said to me before coming out to meet me completely turned me off and made me decide that I would never want to meet this person. I told him I was going to have my friend come with me the first time we met because I just wanted him to get to know her, but also because I wanted to play things safe.
He wrote me an email describing in very lurid details why he thought I wanted her to come with me and the things he would like to with both of us, which made me decide enough is enough. He was very upset I decided not to meet him and starting sending me harassing email messages under a different email name. I know it was him and not someone else because of the things he said in the email. This incident was the catalyst in my decision to never meet someone online again. Many of my friends will never meet men online and accept the fact this limits their opportunities, but they feel it also keeps them a little bit more safe. One friend of mine claimed she would never try online dating, but she met her current boyfriend online, so peoples' opinions can shift on this matter over time. My objective here is not to present horror stories about the world of online dating, but to share a few of my experiences to help those considering whether online dating is for them.
Free Dating Sites Offer Similar Results
So have you ever considered using free online dating services? After my adventures in the world of paid dating my friend suggested I try to meet people on myspace and plentyoffish.com. I tried both of those and I must say my results were actually less scary than what I encountered on the pay sites. Of course you will be getting more inappropriate messages on free sites because more people can contact you, but the beauty of this system is that you can actually talk to more people and up the results of your search. The owner of the site plentyoffish has clearly stated that online dating sites will have you pay money and not deliver results because they want you to stay, and I have to say I do agree with him to some degree. However, even though you get many more "choices" on a free site, it is still prudent to consider whether online dating is the best avenue. These are all personal choices that you will have to investigate and research, but as I have said before researching an online date can almost take as much time as buying a house, so there goes the myth that online dating is good for those with the time crunch.
Whirlwind Online Romances Often Fizzle After Marriage
Our family friend met this very charming guy about seven years ago when match.com was a newer concept. Everyone thought she moving way too fast because she only married him after their first date, but he quickly won people over because he came across as a very nice and down to earth person. Well, folks, it turns out a year into their marriage he was laid off, which is not something anyone can prevent, but he refused to get any job that he believed to be below his educational level. For a while, she believed he was trying to find a job, but after a year of unemployment, she realized he just wanted some free time to himself. At the time our friend owned a very successful business and he always complained that her business took away from their couple time, so she sold the business even though it was helping to keep them afloat financially. She decided to take a lower paying job with fewer hours to make her husband happy, but after all of her sacrifices, he decided to get a divorce because he was bored with the relationship. Although it was our friend's personal choice to do all those things, she truly wanted to make her marriage work and she was willing to do whatever it took to accomplish this goal. Unfortunately, meeting someone online means you may not know enough about this person to decide if you want to marry them, especially if you have a whirlwind romance like my friend did. I am not suggesting that all men online run hot and cold when it comes to the women they date and marry, but I have encountered several that say after five or six years with a lady they just lose interest. I have also met many men who admit they use the Internet as a tool to keep "their options open," and I know there are many ladies out there who do the same thing. The bottom line is I have decided online dating is not for me, but I just wanted to share some of my experiences with you before people go and spend money on something they can find for free: an online date.